Sharpie on thighs "I want to feel you here"

On Skin Writing

I have loved skin writing for as long as I can remember.

When I was a young girl, I was the one constantly scolded by teachers and parents for inking up my skin. I’d spend half an hour drawing an elaborate sketch on my thigh beneath my shorts while I learned algebra, or I’d doodle all over my forearm while I gabbed on the phone. There was a combination of factors that appealed to me when I did it—from the glide of the pen over my skin to the unique words, image, or design I’d set out to put there for whomever to see. I liked the look of ink on skin, and the way people told me I wasn’t supposed to do it. It was more appealing to me than a tattoo, because I could change it to fit my mood, and scrub it all away for a new blank canvas if I didn’t want it to endure. Then, skin writing was just a thing I liked to try; but later, it would turn into a huge turn on for me.

When I was 18, I saw The Pillow Book at a small theatre in my hometown. It was the first erotic movie I ever saw, and everything about it excited me: a writer heroine, her discovery and search for sexual experiences, sexy images of flesh, calligraphy against skin, Ewan McGregor, full frontal male nudity, pure devotion, and a Romeo and Juliet style twist. I left the theatre moved by the story, but more by how exotic and erotic the look of all that calligraphy had appeared on the flesh. I’d had a tattoo in mind for a couple years by then—one I swore I’d get after the publication of my first book, which is indeed going to happen—but even that didn’t strike me as much as this story’s concept had. When Ewan McGregor ripped open his shirt and said, “Use my body like the pages of a book…of your book,” I had a whole new notion of what skin writing could do. It was the using of someone’s flesh in creation of a story to be read and understood—and I craved this, someone else using my skin like I had all those years.

The thought mostly buried itself over the next decade. I had a professional career and didn’t usually have time to doodle on my skin, but sometimes, when I was bored, I’d Sharpie a word or symbol on the bottom of my foot. Later, this transformed into a love of henna. Whenever I could, I’d henna the entirety of a foot and all the way up my calf with some new design I liked. When I went on vacation, I’d mark up my hand with something to catch the eye. It still wasn’t the same as what had roused me in that flick, though—it was done by me, for one, and the henna lacked the same appeal.

Of course, that didn’t stop me from convincing an artist I dated in my late twenties from coming over to henna the entirety of my back. We’d shared a bottle of wine before I’d stripped down to my panties and stretched myself out on the living room floor. He’d squealed over the canvas of my back—literally squealed, because he was an exuberant, lively, playful man—and I clearly remember him sitting on my ass for a long time, waiting while he looked over my naked back and breathed these heavy, deep breaths.

“Anything? I can draw anything?”

“Yes, anything,” I’d said. He’d stared over me for what felt like forever, then spent the next forty or so minutes dragging paintbrushes and fingers across my skin to create whatever henna design he had in mind. He told me how he was playing along with the lines of my back, and not only did I love that what he was drawing was a mystery I couldn’t see, but that as he shifted on my ass to work, we both grew breathless until he called it done.

“Is it weird that I really want to fuck you right now?” he’d said. I’d shaken my head so fast, confessing I felt the same—and we’d fucked right there on the carpet, me flat on my belly and him trying his hardest not to wreck his design. Sadly, it rubbed off a little on his stomach (we might have gotten a bit into it), but nonetheless, I was still tickled to flash him what was left over the next few days.

After him, the urge quieted again. Henna seemed the answer, but my life was too busy to sit down for a session. Occasionally, I’d write memos with ink on my palm, even if I had a perfectly good post-it stack, or phone to jot a note in. Years later, though, I’d have the sexiest relationship of my life, where everything was an option, and want—pure want, desperate, vocal, speak it out loud want—was the name of the game.

I miss you, I’d told this lover via text. I want you, now.

I want you too. Now. Soon. How would you have me?

This picture is what I sent him in response.

Sharpie on thighs "I want to feel you here"

Needless to say, we found a way to get together soon after… But until then? I refused to wash off the words. I loved that I could pull down my pants in the bathroom at work and find that level of want scrawled on my thighs. That my chicken-scratch handwriting revealed my desperation on my very skin, and that he was making his greatest efforts to come strip me down to find it.

I told him later I wanted him to Sharpie all over me, call me names and scribe his lust for me on my flesh. He loved the idea, but our relationship was, unfortunately, fairly short-lived after that. So, I tucked the urge away for many more years.

I nearly forgot about it.

But one night, not all that many months ago, it flared up again. It was a coincidence with a friend, but it suited exactly what I’d always wanted—someone else writing on me, using my skin as he saw fit. We’d gone out to a party and both of us were dressed to the nines, and after a few drinks, he’d wanted to make a list but had no paper. I’d offered up a pen and the entirety of my thigh, and though he thought I was kidding, I soon arranged myself as best I could in the front seat of his car, the entire event furthered, somehow, by my efforts to not flash everything up the skirt of my sassy dress. There was something blissfully erotic in him gripping my leg, writing his message on my bare skin—especially as dressed up as I was. I remember holding my breath, because the combination of his own breath over my leg and the scratch of his pen turned me on more than I could ever admit to this friend. Well, that, and not knowing what it was he was writing in his hunch over my leg.

His scrawl ended up being a childish, silly note—but from that experience, I finally knew what about skin writing made me tick, and what elements, exactly, I was after: my skin, offered up for him to write whatever he pleased; him, shifting me about to scrawl on the curves of my body; that pen, marking me up in a gritty, vulgar way that completely contrasted how glammed up I was right then. And even though what he wrote ultimately irritated me, I still felt the burn of it when I tried to wash it away in the morning, and the memory of being used for whatever he wanted to write. That’s what I loved the most.

Skin writing has so much potential to it, whether it is done in a beautiful way as in The Pillow Book, or in a purposefully crude way like that memorable note on my thigh.

Which is why one day, I hope I’ll get all the elements just right—because it is truly a turn on for me.

Click the lips for more Kink of the Week…

Picture of feet sticking out of car window, parked to watch sunset; Ammentorp ©

We [Were] On a Break!

I am the worst at taking a break. I’ve been this way my whole life—relaxation is a thing I enjoy, but most of the time, there has to be something else going on simultaneously. Hell, it wasn’t until recently that I took up watching some TV before bed while needing to talk myself into lying still on the couch (because, sadly, reading revs me up and makes it impossible to pass out). I have a friend who describes me as being incapable of slowing down, but I often correct him to say that I can, I just prefer to have my wheels spinning at all times, if not in person, then at least in the back of my head.

The slowing of the wheels is something I’m actively working on this year. I’ve been going through a lot that I’ve mentioned on the blog, but there’s been other off-site stuff, too, which has made my series-writing ride quite the adventure. Add to this that moderation is a concept lost on me (just give me a pile of candy and I’ll blow your mind, swear), and the fact that I’m still pretty good at pushing past pain…well, put all this together, and you’ve got a flashy sports car that eventually has a major break down and stops working.

Obviously, that, in the middle of a 3-book series, simply will not do.

Picture of feet sticking out of car window, parked to watch sunset

Chillin’. Ammentorp ©

Which is why I’ve set up various rewards to honor the need to slow my roll in this already unique process. Since I just typed “The End” and closed off the draft for The Discipline, book 2 in the Lessons in Control series, the one I greet you with today is a deal I made with myself long ago: two full weeks off! This is a time for me to not only not think about the book while it simmers, but to essentially take a mini-writing-pseudo-vacation. Yes, writing is my passion, my sustenance, my love—but revisit that moderation in all things clause, and eventually, one can overdose in love, too.

Plus, a “vacation” always brightens the landscape of pretty much anything, so here I am, taking one!

What does this mean? Save for the potential of my copy edits showing up during this rest time, I’m not doing a lick of writing beyond a blog post or two, and maybe even a little revise of a poem and a piece of flash I wrote a while back, since it’s high time I get some fiction up in this joint. But beyond that? I’m practicing chilling out interspersed with moments of handling a short To Do list I avoided while staying focused on the series. This last weekend, for example, I swapped between bills, taxes, and major social time with friends. I even kicked off Saturday morning with pancakes, bacon, and a coconut milk latte in front of a TV show while still in my robe. Guys, this sort of thing hasn’t happened in years. And you know what? It felt pretty good.

There are other cool things happening in this two-week break, too. One, I’ve got a slew of awesome social encounters I’ve delayed: karaoke, luncheons, dinners, happy hours, and, hell, I might even take myself dancing and then sleep in this weekend! Whoa! Also, I’m finally reading a book. I know this sounds like a no brainer—but between being all up in this series and not being able to read before bed lest it keep me awake, I’ve pretty much been catching only blog posts here and there, and thus haven’t touched a book since, oh, late August (shameful, I know, but it’s the truth). Oh and extra chill-worthy: I’m rewatching Fringe from start to finish. This is my favorite series of all time, right before the wicked tie for second between The Tudors, Dexter, Friends (bonus points if you caught the show reference in the title of this post), Grey’s Anatomy, and the first six seasons of The Vampire Diaries (don’t even talk to me about the current season). I have tons of other good things planned for this time, too, but let it be said: there will be some real relaxation for me. I’m excited!

On top of that, I’m not going to feel guilty. Not at all. I know my lovely little characters can wait for me, and everything—life, series, etc.—will return to normal when I’m back.

We are, after all, on a break. 🙂


B/W still vintage image of typewriter

THE Process

Okay, here’s the deal: I kept fooling myself into believing I have a systemized process, and it’s become abundantly clear I’m full of shit.

As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been fairly quiet on both this site and my poetry site. For the most part, I’ve had my head down working on the Lessons in Control series. I’m getting more and more excited to talk about it as we get closer to launch in December, but for now, I’m tied up (heh) in edits for The Assignment (book one), the drafting of The Discipline (book two)—and later down the line, the drafting of The Reward (book three).

The process has been thrilling, shocking, and terrifying, all at the same time. My editor, Rhonda Stapleton, has been a dream through the work we’re doing on book one—but alongside that, I’ve had a hell of a journey on book two. Whatever “process” I swore I had for writing books has been, well, doctored.

B/W still vintage image of typewriter

Dmitriy Cherevko ©

Let me give you a little background. The first real book I wrote (because I’m excluding the fictional biography I wrote at 11 as well the YA horror I wrote at 13) was a romantic fantasy that took me 17 years to complete, and at the end of it, I learned one very important thing: I’m neither a fantasy writer OR a strictly spec fic writer. I love sexual content, and I love dripping that all over the pages of whatever the hell I’m writing. So for my next book, I opted to write a comedic memoir about the year and a half I semi-intentionally stopped having sex. (True story!) Turned out, for a book about not having sex, it actually had a lot of sexual content—but it was also about healing from heartbreak, finding oneself, and a bit of ridiculousness that happened in that period, among other things. Honestly, I haven’t talked a ton about this thing since it’s shelved in lieu of what I currently love writing (that would be erotica in its various forms), but, the point is that it took me about three years to write, the end confirming that (1) I needed to write more because it was my life blood and (2) I was capable of finishing things faster than I thought.

Next came a bunch of short stories. I had a spec fic writing mentor at the time who suggested what I needed was to start and stop over and over again, so I could feel more confident in the process before I took on another book. Whoa nelly, did that turn out to be a boon: I wrote something like two dozen short stories in a few months. Plus, I wrote them fast. 4-6k in a couple hours? No problem! I had become a binge writer who also learned the skill of drafting without backtracking, because one can always chop and revise later. I was pretty sure that nifty trick would carry with me for life.

Flash forward to the recent past, and there came The Assignment. I’d been plotting and stewing about how I might be able to write an erotica series for a couple months, and, meanwhile, had an extremely transformative relationship that sparked all sorts of ideas in my head. Then…we broke up. Okay, in actuality, I had to pry myself away because the entire thing was about to ruin me, but a well-timed vacation and a keen interest in the “do not disturb” function on my phone created utter magic. Even through my devastation, the plot of my story became clear and I proceeded to channel all that breakup energy into writing The Assignment. That book—which I am seriously excited for you to read when it comes out in December—took me a whopping week and a half to outline, and right around one month to draft.

For realsies.

And suddenly—I knew my process: outline, speed draft without editing, let it breathe, go in and proceed to smoothe. Check! Oh yeah. It was that simple, and it would be, forever. Right? So while the final version was off wandering the world for a home, I proceeded to start another book—but the entire time, I couldn’t figure out what had happened to my process because I seemed to be going in circles…for almost eight months.

I’d just upped my speed and written a book in a month. How on earth did this thing take so long?

Then came some real life chaos that fucked with me. It took a while for me to get a clue on how to handle it, but when I did, I opted for a book break. I spent a couple months writing shorts and reworking my confidence, so that when The Assignment found a home at Carina Press and they wanted the entire series, I was both giddy and ready to write book two. Except, not so much. I was still contending with the residual chaos that culminated in the attack of the chronic migraines while also struggling to realize this was in no uncertain terms affecting my process. I drafted about 30k. I got migraine sick. I drafted 10k. I was still migraine sick. I tore up 20k. Edits for book one came. I finished them and then drafted 20k. But again, I was really sick and had to straight up stop. When I was migraine-free and ready to go again, I not only cut out about 15k, but completely replotted the rest of the book.

Ha. Take that, process!

Oh, and my binge writing tendency in that entire time period? M.I.A. 1-2k became a good day! But I plodded along, accepting that I would produce, delete, rewrite, break, etc., until somewhere around December when—while setting my 2016 goals—I took a step back and thought, hmm, maybe I should just write the damn book however it comes out, and stop being an asshole to myself because the process happens to have changed from what it was before.

Amazing concept, right?

I have to say—since then, things have continued to be pretty good over here. I turned in another round of edits on book one, and when I sat down to begin the final chunk of the book two draft this last weekend, I didn’t even bat an eyelash at the fact that the first thing I did was replot the last 20k again.

Go figure.

So, ladies and gentlemen, it’s safe it say: I have discovered the real process! It’s good, and I’m going to share it with you. You should grab a pen. Go ahead, I will wait. *Taps foot.* I know you want the Secret to the Writing Universe I discovered over the last few months, and now, I’m going to give it to you!

Okay, you ready?

Here it is.

The official process is…

Whatever fucking works.

Yep. That’s it. (Did you write that down?) 🙂

I have no idea if my process is “no process” because of life things, or just because that’s the truth of the matter, but I’m pleased to have established this riveting…process. Also, I’m curious about everyone else—what’s your process? I’d love to hear in the comments.

For now, though, time for me to get back to work.

It’s a process. 😉



Man and woman in sensual embrace about to kiss.;Sean Nel ©

The Kiss

When I saw the Kink of the Week theme this time around, I knew I had to join in—both because the kiss is one of my favorite acts, and because I’ve been so lucky to have had many wonderful kisses. What I love most about the kiss is its variation; in one moment, it can be soft, sensual, and sweet, a tender caress between lovers. But in the next, it can be rough, wild, and hard, a battle of tongues that signals deep desire, given as easily as it can be taken away. The kiss is as intimate as it is a tease, and as passionate as it can be purposely cold. “It’s all in the kiss” is a phrase that often holds true—if for no other reason than it might, potentially, provide a glimpse of what lay ahead. Sloppy but given with gusto? Rough and taken with a trained gaze? Soft and peppered with whispers of yes, more, yes…? There is certainly much to be drawn from a kiss.

Man and woman in sensual embrace about to kiss.

Yes. This moment. Sean Nel ©

Kisses are also as memorable in their fails as they are in their successes—those bad ones have the tendency to stand out all on their own. My first kiss was a silly thing, a peck on the lips I gave a fellow 7-year-old on a dare in the middle of an elementary school field. It was an all eye-open, quick lips, what-the-fuck-is-this-thing-we’re-doing kind of kiss. (Okay, maybe more for surprised him than me.) My first mutual kiss came six years later with my first boyfriend, and it was another awkward, mouth-closed, eye-open (him) disaster that left me pining. Even some of the ones I shared with my high school sweetheart later on live in this funny Bad Kiss Memory Land for his apparent desire to swallow my face whole—which admittedly, was as endearing as it was absurd.

Fortunately, beyond those experiences, I discovered many beautiful kisses. A heavy, sensual kiss that happened in the middle of a rainy afternoon remains the one I consider my real first; it was slow initially, hands slipped into hair, breaths whishes of sound between us as if to signal how closely we were about to connect. Much later, I experienced kisses so heavy and intense they felt stolen in the dark, but so delicious I would have given anything to have them stolen all over again. Later still was an insanely memorable dance floor kiss—a slow-build thing that seemed like it would happen the second we met, and yet didn’t all through the two solid hours we swung ourselves around, lips near and smiles wide…until the kiss itself made it feel like time stopped. There was another kiss with someone else that merged sweet with seductive while we swayed half-clothed in a living room, where curious pecks and nibbles of each other’s lips soon blurred into a meshing of tongues so combustible it was hard to believe we’d done anything more than kiss. And far later, I’d swear I found my kissing soul mate, with whom kisses were desperate, deep, and in sync, sparking almost as much electricity in the tension before our lips met as when they actually did. (Of course, it didn’t hurt that he would turn out to be alarmingly good with his mouth in every other way, too…) 😉 To this day, that lips nearing, eyes locking, breaths speeding come-together is as much one of my favorite moments in fiction as it is in real life—because goddamn, that build has the potential to make an actual kiss so much hotter.

One of the other joys of the kiss is that it is built to travel. It can graze the swoop of a shoulder just as easily as it can tease an inner thigh, and it can also transform into anything: the suck of a nipple, the nibble of a finger, the taste of cunt or cock. But after this transformation, it can always come right back up to where it started—sealing the moment as a quiet end to a beautiful, luscious storm.

So in case it was at all unclear—I’m a big fan of the kiss.

What about you?


Want more kisses? Click on the lips… 

Shadowed image of man holding half-clad woman from behind

What Do I Tell Her?

I am fortunate to have several close friends who support what I write, but, truth be told, I also have many family members who strongly and vocally disapprove. As we all know and as was discussed in many incredible posts before a few months back, erotica has long been the black sheep of the writing world, regardless of its quality. It’s a shame, really, that so many amazing authors can be slapped with a derogatory label and/or be “on the fringe” simply for writing about sex.

Just before the real heat of the erotica sex writing versus mainstream sex writing conversation arose, a close family member made a point to call out her negative thoughts on what I write, and—perhaps because of the ongoing conversation, or just because of how it all went down between us—it’s resonated in my head off and on all this time. She was not the relative who’d previously crushed me by telling me my talent was wasted; the words of this woman, instead, infuriated me. We were mid-phone conversation when she brought up the fact that her daughter had started asking what I write, and, instead of coming up with an answer, she had apparently called to tell me of her plight. She said, “My daughter is asking what you write. What do I tell her? What on earth am I going to tell her with what you write? Do you ever think about that? You’ve put me in a really weird position.”

Irritation is a gentle way of describing the feeling I had in that moment. Granted, I don’t have children, and of course the appropriate response is entirely dependent on the age of the child—but I’m pretty sure there are a plethora of ways for a parent to approach this without blaming someone else for putting her “in a really weird position.” I said, “Why don’t you just tell her I write fiction?” But the response was, “She wants to know what kind. What do I tell her?”

Again, I’m not a parent, so I said: “Why don’t you tell her what you’re comfortable with?”

Unfortunately, this relative went on to say how awful her situation was because of what I’d chosen to focus on, and I opted to get off the phone rather than be berated. But months later, the real answer I’ve wanted to say still floats around in my head. It’s the easy answer—for me—that I know she and many others might not accept, but that I’m certain is the answer many of us feel, and why so many of us have no issues writing something that is, unfortunately, so shunned:shutterstock_126180551-2onfbpage2

I write erotica.

Yes, it’s really that simple.

But okay. If we want to go further, if we need to delve into the depths of how powerful and real this genre is, then here’s my official answer:

I write erotica. I write fantasy. I write desire, discovery, and truth. I write love, intimacy, communication, relationships, and connection. I write human touch, empathy, grief, lust, and pain. I write reality, and about how we as people interact and share with one another, and the affect, good and bad, this has on our lives. And—whether or not anyone agrees with it—I’m writing something I love, and that I’ll continue to write because it shouldn’t be villainized when what it’s based on is happening everyday, in so many homes, between the very people who continue to object to it.

It’s sex. It’s real. More than that, it’s beautiful, amazing, deep, painful, transformative, close, and powerful. And you know what else? It’s the most natural thing in the world.

That, my dear? That’s what you tell her.


Image of woman straddling man, shadowed; Katarzyna Białasiewicz ©

Erotic Fiction…With Aura

In the last three weeks, I’ve been through two doctor phone appointments, five live doctor appointments, one MRI, several blood tests, and even one full-fledged panic attack. To say it’s been a little bit of a roller coaster is an understatement—but the good news is, there’s nothing major wrong. Yay!

So what is going on? Well, according to the fabulous neurologist I saw last week, my migraines have morphed into something really goddamn special. I am fortunate in that I don’t generally get the nausea and hammer-pounding headaches of most traditional migraine sufferers; unfortunately, I get all sorts of weird sensory problems instead: depth perception issues, tingling and/or numbness in my arms, mental disconnect, vertigo, occasional vision problems, and sometimes, the headache. This time, however, I developed a bizarre numbness in my cheek—and later, the entire side of my face—paired with completely blurred vision in one eye, which led some doctors to believe I might be having a stroke. (That would be the day the panic attack struck, by the way.) I am thrilled to say that isn’t the case, but it does appear a chronic basilar/sensory migraine took residence in my head for over three weeks—complete with all these fun new symptoms!

I’m getting to a point here, I swear (migraine brain fog is real, people). When I mentioned to the neurologist that I’ve been okay writing in short spurts in the morning, but everything else is sending my head into a spin, he suggested I stop the cycle of migraine with a heavier duty NSAID and a few days off (and yes, I totally followed doctor’s orders there). However, when I asked him how migraines could literally change overnight and cling, desperately, in ways they never had before, his response was the most poetic and frustrating thing I could possibly have heard:

“The life of a migraine is a mysterious and beautiful thing.”

I totally laughed that off. But Saturday morning, as I lay tossing and turning under my covers in a groggy, migraine-clouded and dreamlike state, I was thinking about the bizarre tingles raining over my brain that didn’t hurt at all, but that were making things really fuzzy and weird.

And suddenly, I had this spark of an idea:

What if a person could embody the essence of a migraine? What would she be like, as a lover?

It took me a while to drag myself out of bed to type this one up, but the story below is what happened as I sat down to imagine the mysterious and beautiful life of a migraine.

I hope you enjoy it.



Image of woman straddling man, shadowed

Katarzyna Białasiewicz ©

She comes into his life like a comet—a fiery bolt arcing across the skies, haloed and crashing down into the open meadow of his existence. She seems a quiet blip, at first, awakening beneath the sun on a lush bed of grass. She stretches herself out against it, her long, pale body blinding in its innocent beauty. Her fingers clutch the earth as she shimmers in the light, and she sighs at the caress of this world, this new place that surrounds her in warmth.

Instantly, he is drawn to her, knows her otherness and craves it. He takes her in as she begins to bloom, as she shows him that she is, in fact, no innocent at all. She is all curves and smiles, arms that encircle and hold, words of sweetness that tend to him just as he tends to her—but behind her glistening, loving eyes, there is something else. It is furious like the comet she rode in on, unbounded and wild, and it lures him forward in the heated swarm of his mind. It shushes away his fears when she kisses his cheeks, his forehead, his mouth, and when she tugs at his clothes and limbs, she draws him further into her sphere.

In the dark of night he invites her to his bed, for though she is unsurpassed in her beauty, it’s her mystery that has him tangled in her. He finds himself beneath her in the light of the moon, his breath stolen as she rocks above. Her hips grind in swirls of chaos, her hands possessing his skin, her kisses speeding his heart. The way she moves sinks into the chasm of his soul. She seeks all of him—not just his length buried within her, but the depths of every crevice of his being, every utterance of his heart, every glimmer of his mind as she writhes against him and his sheets. Her movements become glorious and pained, ripples on the surface of a once-placid lake when the cries spill out from her lips. He sees her then as what she is—nails sharp over him, and teeth cutting his skin in jagged lines. But her whimpers are all he hears, and they seize him in their rock together, taking him beyond every sensation he knew before.

When she collapses over his chest, they lie in silence.

His days are fraught with tension in his efforts to please her. He bathes her, feeds her, loves her through the pinch of her lips and the furrow of her brow. She will not speak, and she moves like a streak of lightning—stubborn and sharp, illuminating their path and yet setting him on edge, pasting goose bumps on his skin like stars against the deep black sky. He thinks, perhaps, the end approaches, that she is sparing them both the hurt to come, soothing the quiet that will fill his life until she falls to the surface of his earth once more.

They dance, this time, before bed. She swings him out in vibrant bursts, then yanks him close. She grasps him so tight his breath slips from inside and out into the vortex of the room. Her heat builds, scorching, suffocating. Blinding. He thinks as they spin, around and around, how much he loves and hates her. How he craves her, needs her. In her laugh he finds the answer to existence, a blurry question that leads to more questions but that, somehow, lets him settle beneath her in the way she commands.

He imagines curving his fingers around her throat, squeezing her away to nothingness—but she has coiled herself around him so tightly, he no longer knows where she ends and he begins.

When she fucks him again, her moans shatter mirrors and rattle pictures off the walls. Her gasps vibrate the room, the bed, the air trapped inside him, stifling in its icy slide against the innermost parts of his lungs. But he is enraptured with the thrust of her hips, with the sweat breaking over his chest when she sucks the tips of his fingers, with the shift of her body over him in the moonlight, even as he feels himself slipping away with her. He is losing his grasp on what is real, what is good, and when she comes, her cries and shudders render him frozen. She keeps arching until he erupts in her, and every last drop of him becomes hers.

He is still when she curls behind him, tucking herself close to his back. Her hands trace over his side, fingertips painting electric currents that circulate in his limbs, up into his face. She kisses his shoulder, then his neck. And though he cannot move, he feels her words when she breathes them into his ear, a shock of sound bursting inside his soul.

“I love you,” she whispers, “and I’ll see you again soon.”

In the morning, he wakes on damp, rumpled sheets. The evidence of their love has scented his skin, and the pillowcase beneath his cheek. He breathes in clean air, his air, and slowly lifts himself from the bed.

She is gone.

Wicked Wednesday Badge

The Pillow Talk...Erotica Writers Talking Dirty logo: black and white image of a cartoon woman with bright red lips on a pillow

Pillow Talk Secrets: It’s Been a Year!

Hey everyone! Welcome back to our newest edition of Pillow Talk Secrets. Today, Tamsin FlowersMalin James, and I celebrate our first year together as co-bloggers, and the lovely Tamsin leads us through more musings on all the sex and erotic topics we just love to talk about! This time we reflect on some of our favorite posts, and also consider the recent release from E.L. James, Grey. We hope you’ll join us!

As usual, I’ve included a snippet here with a link at the end for you to hop on over to our site to continue. Or, feel free to head there now to read the post in its entirety.

Thanks for reading!


Pillow Talk Secrets

Tamsin: Hello Jade, hello Malin, how are you both this afternoon?

Jade: Hello, lovelies! I’m well. How about you two?

Malin: Good morning / afternoon, ladies! I’m doing good – happy to be here with you!

T: Excellent! Yes, it’s been a little while since we all got together. But we’ve made it through our first year, so yay for us! How do you two feel about that?

Cakes on ass

It’s our anniversary so the cakes are on us!

J: Definitely a yay to that! I am tickled we’ve gone a year strong, and that it’s been such a fabulously fun year, too!

M: Agreed. I can’t believe how quickly it flew by! Our anniversary snuck up on me!

J: It was officially the 4th, yes?

M: Yep! So we’re already into our second now. We’re growing up!

T: It may only have been a year, but I feel like I’ve known you two for a lot longer! And I have to say, we’ve done some great posts during that time. Any favorites? Anything we’ve missed out on so far?

M: I think my favorite was the one we did on details in erotica, if only because there are so many ways of approaching and responding to description. But I also loved our taboo discussion. There’s so much there. It feels like we touched on a lot, but only scratched the surface.

J: I would have to say I’m torn between two – the taboo talk is definitely one of them. We covered a lot of interesting ground with what we did talk about, but I have a feeling we may need to go there again, big time. Also, I honestly really enjoyed our end of the year / New Year’s post. It felt very cozy. 🙂

T: I’m trying to remember our very first post – it was a little introduction to ourselves – and looking back at it, what a sweet gang of newbie writers we were!

J: Yes we were!

M: What about you, Tamsin? Any favorites or topics you’d like to get more of?

Alpha maleT: Early on we did a post on boys, alphas and Doms – it was fun! So maybe we should do a post about some of our favorite types of erotica heroines…I’m sure we’d have a lot to talk about on that subject. What about you, Jade?

J: I think that would pose some good ideas, for sure. I also think it would be interesting to talk about crossover things…how erotica merges with other genres and such. And perhaps word choices? There are just so many great avenues to explore when talking dirty, wouldn’t you say?

M: There’s an almost endless supply of topics, it’s true. I’d also love to talk about how sex can be used in fiction. Of course, there’s the obvious turn-you-on motive (nothing wrong with that!), but it can also deeply affect character motivations and further plot. Sex is powerful in writing. It would be fun to explore why and how.

Read more at Pillow Talk!

Cover of The Sexy Librarian's Dirty 30 Cover

The Sexy Librarian’s Dirty 30 (Part One) – “The Bells”!

Every once in a while, we as writers create something we’re extraordinarily excited about. It could be that the piece was a challenge to write, or that it reflected a personal moment that’s stuck with us a long time. It might be a new idea we never thought to brave before, or, it could simply be that something about the story tickled us to the core. Either way, baring the part of our souls that made it important to us is why it ends up being so much more exciting when other people finally see it, too.

That’s why today’s news feels super enthralling. Just a little bit ago, The Sexy Librarian’s Dirty 30 came out, and now it’s officially available in audio, too. What makes this collection special (besides an all-star lineup) is not just that it includes one of those dear stories I described above—and I can’t even believe how lucky I am to say this—but it has two!

Since I have so much to say about both pieces in this fantastic new collection from the lovely Rose Caraway, I’ve decided to split this post into a two-part series. Today, I’ll talk about and give an excerpt for “The Bells,” which is a dark alternate history piece. Tomorrow, I’ll focus in on “The Doll,” a story that thrills me in a hugely different, more personal way. I hope you’ll join me for both posts, as I can honestly say these stories are two of my very favorites.

So, let’s see, before I say anything more about “The Bells,” let’s have a look-see at the ridiculously sexy audiobook cover:

Cover of The Sexy Librarian's Dirty 30 Cover

Hot, right? I’m still dancing over here because I love it so! There’s been a slight (and possibly temporary) tweak to the ebook cover, but I’ll show you that one tomorrow.

For now, I’d like to tell you a bit about “The Bells”…

I have to start with a confession on this one: I am not a history buff, and it was my absolute worst subject in school. However, there are certain themes and topics that have surprised me along the way. For example, I’ve always been fascinated by powerful female leaders (or pseudo-leaders, anyway). My first glimpse of this was in reading The King’s Way by Françoise Chandernagor as a teen, and then a few years later, getting sucked into Philippa Gregory’s The Virgin Lover. It seemed to me these ladies were flexing a LOT of power despite being the historically underrated female, and so in the back of my mind I thought playing with that might be fun in a story one day.

Let’s cut to another historical topic that captivated me: Henry VIII and his herd of wives. I know it’s history and that was understandable for the time, but this one feisty man getting all the ladies and cutting off a third of their heads just because of a little adultery never quite sat right with me. It’s a crime against love and loins, dude, not a threat to your throne.

It’s this tidbit that actually leads to the third historical topic that revved my engines—the punishment methods of our past. I’ve always been bizarrely fascinated by this stuff, but in college, I stumbled upon a course called The History of Crime and Punishment. I promptly enrolled in it, obsessed over it, and aced it like a champ. I got so into this course, in fact, that my boyfriend at the time grew unnecessarily worried over how often I wanted to watch scary old late night documentaries depicting means of torture and really cruel things we did to one another in the name of justice. But, I mean—drawing and quartering? Wheel breaking? The Judas Cradle? Ducking stools? Loss of ears? What the hell is wrong with us that we came up with these things?!

So put all that background on simmer, and many years later, along comes Rose Caraway’s Dirty 30 call. She’d already bowled me over by putting Soundscapes on her tremendous Kiss Me Quick’s podcast, so I knew the plot could get way out there if I so wished it. I didn’t know what to write, but for some reason I kept having this persistent image of bells ringing. It was outdoors, in a dusty arena, and they just kept clang clang clanging.

As I was toying with what to do with this image, randomly, a certain unfortunate Queen I’d once learned about popped into my head.

I guess it was the perfect storm; the merging of all these ideas had me at the computer the next day in full trance-style—hyper-focused, phone off, fingers flying over the keyboard. The image grew darker and darker, because I kept wondering what if, what if, what if it had gone this way instead?

Annnnnddddd…that’s where I have to pull the brakes on my back story, because my intention is not to blow the plot for you—that wouldn’t be fun for any of us. Fortunately, I do have an excerpt to whet your appetite.

From “The Bells”:

Catherine remained still. The bells she wore about her ankles were permanent instruments, but it was the rest of the adornments that paled poor Helen’s face as she worked, her lips pursed tight when she drew the box from beneath Catherine’s bed and focused on the entirety of her lady’s body.

First, she circled her wrists with multiple strands of bells, creating bracelet upon bracelet of noise. The next strand she fastened around Catherine’s bare waist, the bells resting against her alabaster skin and jingling as Helen checked each one in turn. After came the clamps, which she held in the air with a wince before securing them to Catherine’s nipples. Immediately, Catherine felt the burn, the sting of teeth gripping her as Helen did what she’d been instructed to do every week prior—flicking them to ensure they made their respective and appropriate sounds.

Catherine closed her eyes. The clamps drove her mad, sending heat through her breasts and into her belly. Her heart pounded in ways neither Helen nor the King could possibly have anticipated—for they had all assumed after he walked in on her, catching her in her treachery, that this sort of ceremony would bring her the ultimate shame.

“Are you all right, my lady?”

Catherine opened her eyes with a nod.


The first time Helen had adorned Catherine, she’d spoken her instructions aloud. Her voice had quavered in the bitter tears of youth as she affixed the many bells to Catherine’s naked form. But Catherine had found irony in soothing the girl, finally cupping her cheeks in her palms and silencing her with the same sentiment she’d boldly pronounced at her sentencing.

“This is the fate I have chosen for my crimes, because I would never choose to die.”

Catherine knew the girl had found some solace despite the sorrow wrinkling her brow. But even now, knowing Catherine’s choice, knowing her fate, Helen held her face in the stubborn conviction of a girl foolishly protecting her former Queen.

“Well? Hurry on, then,” Catherine said.

Helen scooped the last of the adornments from the box: a single bell on a chain that Catherine was to wear as a necklace. This lone bell would make the most noise throughout the ceremony, but at this moment it rested, quiet and benign, aligned with the rising throb of her clamped nipples.

Helen gave Catherine her final inspection, then nodded in the grave way she usually did before calling for the guard.

“She is ready.”

Catherine held her head high when he arrived. The man opened the cell with a leer behind his mask, and yet he made no comment, no move to take advantage of her state. Instead he merely stepped back, careful of her bare feet as Helen took her hand and escorted her down the winding hall. The bells on Catherine’s body chimed with every step, the reminder of her crime and the next round of punishment to come. Her cheeks burned, but the weight of the clamps and the sound of the bells sent her heart clattering in wild bursts.

When they arrived on the platform, Helen arranged Catherine behind the curtains as she’d been trained to do: her arms and legs splayed, fastened to the far corners of the proscenium by long cords of bells that attached to her bracelets. This was temporary—because beyond those thick, velvet sheets, loud shrieks beckoned for a show. Theirs was a kingdom of eager viewers, crazed with a hungry fervor that sent chills through Catherine’s arms as Helen shifted her about. Her body vibrated with the energy of the arena, and her legs shook beneath her when Helen nudged her torso forward. The pitch of her chest allowed the bells to dangle from her neck and nipples so they would trill with each movement she’d make.

“Good luck, my lady,” Helen said.

And then she was gone.


I have not yet had the opportunity to hear the amazing Rose Caraway read either of the stories I’ve got in this collection, but I have no doubt she’s going to completely rock my world, and hopefully yours too! The book is available on Audible right here, or if you prefer it, on Amazon right here.

Either way, I do hope you’ll please come back tomorrow, when I share some back story and an excerpt for my other story in this collection, “The Doll.”

Until then, thanks so much for reading!


N.B. You can now read about “The Doll” right here.

Picture of woman lying on floor looking reading

It’s Time For…Editing Mayhem!

After careful consideration, I’m 100% sure I am an over-editing fiend.

This isn’t to say that the editing I do is bad editing, or even that it’s unnecessary. It’s just potentially a little over the top.

“All things in moderation,” one of my parents used to say.

Yeah. Kind of missed that boat, guys.

In all fairness, we all have our methods. We’ve got to do what works for us. I felt as though I’d fine-tuned my novel editing process the last time around, but I’m coming to realize that whatever the process is that I think I have nailed down, it will be sabotaged when, say, I’m in times of great stress. (Perhaps uncoincidentally, this is when my weird urge to check the oven is off at least three times before I leave the house kicks in, too. So fun.)

The last book hit some road bumps before I called the edit done, but somehow it didn’t feel quite as disruptive as what happened this time. My awesome system was all screwed up due to too many “life issues,” and of course there was that whole bout with adding a subplot, removing the subplot, changing the subplot and re-adding it again. What all this basically amounted to was me convincing myself I’d fucked everything up, then laughing hysterically because I started re-editing things I’d already edited. Three times.

I like my plot lines how I like my love life: hot, heavy, and complicated. #amwriting

So about that plot line issue…

At least there was laughing, right? That’s good.

So, anyway. Clearly I’m going tangential today. There will be no fiction, no confessions, no poetry, no pictures of hot men. I have decided to share the editing process that is by no means “in moderation,” but that I used with both my currently shelved comedic memoir and that first erotica novel I finished writing last January. It’s a method I think I like (because I honestly love editing), and that I’ve attempted to use again—I just stress attempted because, well, see the last full paragraph. And yes, it might well be a little nuts. Or, maybe it’s normal. Or maybe it’s indicative of a woman who spent three years of her teens wanting to be a neurosurgeon so there remains a residual urge to meticulously fix things…who knows. Either way, perhaps you will find something of use (or at least a good laugh) from my editing insanity!

Here goes!

Jade’s 10 Steps to Editing Mayhem

Step 1: Mull It OverDo not touch your first draft for at least three weeks after you type “The End.” Then, and only then, print it out. Read it cover to cover (best in a short, consistent time frame) with all pens and pencils locked somewhere you cannot find them. Once you finish, mull for 2-4 days. Make mental notes of any plot issues that strike you as seriously fucked up, but do not write anything down. Not yet. This is thinking time.

Step 2: Grab the Pen of Destruction. After you’ve sufficiently mulled it over, find your favorite pen (I’m a big fan of blue or green—red makes me crazy). Then, in batches of three or so chapters, edit like a maniac. At the end of the third chapter, enter the changes on the computer. When you finish, go back and read these chapters on the screen, making changes as you see them. Then repeat your chapter bunches to the end of the book.

Step 3: Throw It All Off. Bear in mind, you will need to stop to add scenes where appropriate. This will of course throw off the “[three] chapter bundle” plan, so after typing a new scene, edit it on screen, print and edit it on paper, enter the changes, then continue on with the rest of the chapter bundle.

Picture of woman lying on floor looking reading

Is this step 4? Step 10? A cat nap? I don’t know. You pick.

Step 4: Assess Your Mental Health (Take 1). Recognize this has taken a bizarrely long time already, and that, according to writer friends, this is where many people stop and send the damn thing off to beta readers. Laugh a good laugh and keep going, special snowflake. It’s time to let that freak flag fly.

Step 5: Begin Your Word List Madness. When I read, I’m hypersensitive to echoes—repeated words and phrases—so when I’m on Step 2 I keep a notepad handy, jotting down every word or phrase I swear I’ve repeated too many times. This list can get disturbingly long, and it will turn out that some of the words are not actually echoes but phantom echoes. That’s okay, though; write them down anyway, because you’ll take great pleasure in finding out you’re wrong when you do a “find and replace” for each and every word on this notepad. When you find a true culprit, though, set some random upper limit in your head for the number of times you think it should appear. Proceed to slash and hack to fit that number. This process, while tedious, will allow you whole phrase changes that will make the book read better—you probably didn’t need to say cock that much, even though the word rolls around so well on the tongue. (Heh.) Also check excessive adverbs and your Naughty Words List (the list of words that you tend to overdo).

Step 6 (Optional): Create Post-It Confetti. When feeling particularly Word List sensitive (this happened for me last time), write down the really bothersome word on a Post-It, and make note of what pages it happens. Then make another Post-It with synonyms and their page numbers. Sometimes, you can find an eerie pattern that makes you feel your use of certain words is logically connected to the Universe—but don’t spend too long pondering this. Your next goal is to disperse your abundance of synonyms so that the first half of the book doesn’t have all the cock and the second half get the shaft. (Ha ha. Who said editing isn’t fun?!)

Step 7: Assess Your Mental Health (Take 2). Realize you have synonym lists on Post-Its all over your desk and that this alone may be far more concerning than your browser history. Laugh another good laugh. Is it a math brain that makes one so obsessed with patterns? The OCD? Will you ever know the true answer? Does this have something to do with the meaning of life? Why do you care? This is not the time for an existential musing. Whatever the cause for this madness, regain your focus and set some rewards: a night out when you’re finished and a damn good book to read. I promised myself Alison Tyler’s Wrapped Around Your Finger when this current edit was finished, and while it’s been sitting on my nightstand for almost six months, I am going to get to it soon, goddammit!

Step 8: Sigh and Run Your Spellcheck. Breathe a sigh of relief. The hard work is over. Now, give the whole document a spellcheck. Take this opportunity to spot and change more boring words. You’ll find them. I promise.

Step 9 (Best for post-beta read, but whatever): Go Aural. Read the entire story aloud. No, really. This is the best piece of editing advice I ever got, and I still do it, every time, no matter what the length of the story is. It catches almost every error, swear.

Step 10: Get Your Ass and That Book Out. Send the doc to your beta readers before you find ways to make another pass through. Then, take yourself out to celebrate.

BOOM. You’re done. Easy as pie. Yes?

So, a few notes: First drafts get better as you write more (thank god), so this list, while arduous, goes faster and gets simpler with each new story. The next edit (post-beta or otherwise) won’t require several of these steps, either—so far I’ve stuck with a single read-through, then 2, 3, 8 (sans sighs), 9, and 10 on that round, with 2 and 3 switched. Also, 10 is even more celebratory because it’s more done, which is always a good thing. And once this bad doggie is out the door, you can now move on to all the other projects you’ve avoided save for a random piece of flash or ten.

Until, of course, you get your edits back from your betas/editor/agent again.



Dark toned image of woman sitting with one leg crossed over another

You Got Turned Out

Well over a year ago, a close friend used a term that struck me as profound—so much so it’s been simmering in the back of my head ever since. The truth is that it was said in reference to a relationship I’d experienced, but eventually, I realized how wide the scope of it was, and how very much I needed to write about it.

See, at the time of our conversation, I was wrapping up one of the most painful breakups of my life. I’ve had many relationships in two decades—some of them waking me in one way or another, others serious enough we nearly ended up engaged, and still others breaking me in ways that required many years of lightness to heal—but this was different. It was heavier somehow, more real, more intense. If I were to describe my past relationships as watercolor paintings, this one was made of oil—dense with color, small details, and texture, and labored over not just with brushes, but with rags and carving tools that molded the canvas of us. It started as a casual fling that should have meant practically nothing, but in the mere nine months we lasted—including four breakups, three standoffs, and two attempted months of silence—the impact still coursed through my blood and transformed me.

So on the night we chatted, this friend of mine listened while I cried to him for probably the third or fourth time, dragging myself in circles over this new kind of hurt, and this strange feeling of having had my heart and soul wrenched open in ways I couldn’t understand. And in the midst of it, he said, very sweetly, “Honey, don’t you see? You got turned out.”Dark toned image of woman sitting with one leg crossed over another

This friend has long been special to me for a variety of reasons, but his frankness—paired with his somewhat uncanny understanding of women—has always captivated me. Having never heard the term, I sniffled a few times and asked what the hell he was talking about. I’ll take the liberty of paraphrasing his response, but the basic concept is this: getting “turned out” means someone has fully broken through to you—turned you upside down, cracked you open, and unraveled you completely. Sure, you may have had sex and love before—hell, you could have had endless sex and love, and believed you’d felt the magic—but this experience is not common, and when it happens, you know. It’s more powerful than any love or good fuck or orgasm you’ve had before; it’s like you’ve found that person who can sink right into your soul, delve into your pores, and bring you out into the world as an entirely altered, more phenomenal version of you.

When he said this, it clicked. I’d known love, lust, empathy, closeness, hurt, passion, and all of the feelings that connect us with one another—but this thing, even as short as it was, had me lost in an emotional and sexual haze all the way through and well after it ended. Truth be told, it’s one of the most complicated things I’ve ever experienced, so uplifting and murky and amazing and excruciatingly painful, charging me even beyond the time it took to heal. This is why I strongly believe the last part of what my friend said in that phone call, too—that this type of experience will inevitably end in one of two ways: ideally, you and the person seize the magic and end up together for life, exploring this brilliance discovered together; or, you and the person call it quits, she who got turned out is hurt for a long, long time, and then—once all the pain dissipates and she can see straight again—she’s essentially reborn with so much more sense, emotional power, and feeling than she’d ever dreamed of before.

A phoenix rising from the ash, if you will.

That’s a big concept to pin on a relationship, I know, but I’d venture to guess a few of you know exactly what I’m talking about. Maybe while you’re reading this, your hearts are thumping in your chests, your heads lifting and falling as you whistle to yourselves because you remember what this felt like. It’s that feeling of putting your heart, your love, your soul, your very essence in someone else’s grasp like you could never have fathomed before—and still being unbelievably okay with it.

Sometimes, it works out. Sometimes, it doesn’t. But no matter what, you will never be who you were before.

So, that’s what’s been churning in my head for a while now, seeping into my work, my stories. I don’t mean to do it, and then suddenly I do. The first time I saw it was in the last book I wrote—I’d drafted it early last year and then came back a month later to edit, following my character through her adventure in love and sex while I made my scribbles on the page…and then WHAM. I actually saw it in her character arc, and said it out loud:

“Oh, look at you. You got turned out, baby girl.”

I thought it was just a one-time thing. Then the feelings kept resurfacing in other stories I wrote, essays I penned, and poems I posted, without me ever intending it. It was like in finding myself, my characters had to, as well. Even in the book I’m editing now, I saw it happening all over again—the protagonist shedding her old skin, embracing this new life and awareness she finds with the one who broke through to who she honestly was. It wasn’t that she wasn’t whole or happy before—only that, in a way, she had to set fire to who she was to leap into this vivid new self. In doing so, she’s become richer, more powerful, and eager for every sensation and experience yet to be had.

She’s been turned out.

Sometimes, I wonder if the intersection of my own experience happening shortly after I sent my first erotica story into the world was a coincidence, or if it was the Universe trying to give me a message. That in embracing my writing, I’d opened up a personal door. Or that in releasing the erotica I’d kept quiet for years, I was finally able to bare my heart and soul, even if it was going to hurt like hell. Or that, since I was going to explore so many things in real life, I would need to feed it all into my stories over time.

Honestly, I don’t know the answer to the how or why—and like the phoenix, I don’t think the past matters anymore.

When you get turned out, the only thing you need to do is soar on.